JLR to partner on smart city test facility

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Jaguar Land Rover is partnering with global software, mobility and telecoms companies to create a smart city hub that it hopes will enable real-world testing of connected technology where self-driving vehicles share the streets with cars, pedestrians and cyclists. Seagate will bring over 40 years of data storage and management technology expertise to the project.

The Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI) will be a collaborative testbed spread across 12km of public roads, providing the facilities and expertise to harness valuable sensor data, simulate a variety of road environments and traffic scenarios and trial new technologies. The FMCI will also provide the manufacturer with a key research site next to an existing facility, its Shannon software hub.

JLR says the testbed will help advance its research into autonomous, connected, electrified and shared vehicles. The facility will be equipped with sensors throughout the site, along with high-accuracy location systems, a data management and control center and self-driving prototype vehicles.

“This partnership with FMCI provides us with a real-world facility to trial our emerging autonomous, connected, electrified and shared technology in a strategic location. Collaborating with top-tier software companies will allow us to develop our future systems more efficiently,” said John Cormican, general manager for Shannon Ireland Jaguar Land Rover.

It will also feature smart junctions, connected roads, autonomous parking and electric vehicle charging as well as links to a 450km stretch of connected highway and a managed air traffic corridor for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Shannon airport along the Shannon Estuary.

While artificial intelligence (AI) is critical to the future development of self-driving vehicles, there are many more technologies that are just as significant. The sensors used by AVs generate massive amounts of data – between 5TB and 20TB per vehicle per day. This data must be available not only to the AI technology onboard each vehicle, but also needs to be transported to and from edge data centers where analysis must be performed as fast as possible to enable the vehicle to understand its surroundings and make decisions in real-time. Efficient and intelligent data infrastructure is essential to the further evolution of autonomous vehicles.  

“Managing and orchestrating the massive data flows created by autonomous vehicles requires solutions that are as mobile, intelligent, and agile as the data itself,” said Ken Claffey, VP and general manager of Enterprise Data Solutions at Seagate. “We are excited to collaborate with Future Mobility Campus Ireland and its lead partner Jaguar Land Rover to help pave the way to innovation in autonomous and connected technology”. 

A host of other global technology companies will help develop the facility, including Cisco, Renovo, Red Hat, Valeo and Mergon. Traditionally such testing sites have been established overseas.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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